Huey Lewis discusses the creation and legacy of his hit song with the News, “The Power of Love,” in the latest episode of Rolling Stone’s “The Breakdown.”
“‘The Power of Love’ is very powerful,” Lewis says, “more powerful than we realized. And as we get older, it’s really the most important emotion we have. Love really does make the world go around. You look at this crazy world with all these people, and you think, ‘How does this work?’ Love, it has to be love.”
Huey Lewis and the News wrote “The Power of Love” for the 1985 film, Back to the Future. In the clip, Lewis recalls how the film’s creative team — producer Steven Spielberg, director Robert Zemeckis and writer Bob Gale — asked him to write a song for the film, explaining that its protagonist, Marty McFly (played by Michael J. Fox), would’ve been a huge Huey Lewis and the News fan.
Lewis says he was apprehensive at first, telling the trio he’d never written for a movie before and adding that he didn’t want to have to write a song called “Back to the Future.” But the trio told him they simply wanted one of his own songs and the rocker agreed to send them the next track he wrote.
Lewis says former guitarist Chris Hayes wrote the lead progression for “The Power of Love,” after which Lewis took over. “I strapped on that Sony Walkman and went for a little jog, and I wrote the song on that jog,” he says. “I’m in the control room and we’re listening to the vocal and Sean [Hopper], our keyboard player, at the end of the thing he looks at me and says, ‘You know what? Best thing we’ve ever done.”
Elsewhere in the clip, Lewis talks about the distinct brown hue of the “Power of Love” music video while he also recalls how a label executive inspired his Back to the Future cameo as a cantankerous teacher who dismisses Marty’s band after they audition for a talent show with “The Power of Love.” At the end of the clip, Lewis notes that while many of the band’s songs have evolved and changed a little over the years, “The Power of Love” has stayed the same. “We got it pretty right the first time,” Lewis says.
Huey Lewis and the News will release their new album, Weather, February 14th. The record marks the group’s first LP of all new music in since 2001’s Plan B.